Napa Valley Cricket Club starts the 2021 season with baby steps back to normality

The Napa Valley Cricket Club (NVCC) have played two matches on the road and have been back in the practice nets as they look to get back to playing competitively in their 10th season.

The Napa Valley Cricket Club (NVCC) have played two matches on the road and have been back in the practice nets as they look to get back to playing competitively in their 10th season.

With all of the playing members now vaccinated the club started practice nets at Newton’s Law of Fitness in early May allowing many of the members the opportunity to shake off the cobwebs after over 18 months without cricket. Nets sessions continue on a weekly basis every Tuesday from 7pm.

The clubs first competitive match was on the road against old rival Marin Cricket Club where the NVCC played against their Social team on Saturday, May 22. It was the first of three matches scheduled for 2021 between the clubs with NVCC running out easy winners. With Club Captain Brendan Helme unavailable due to the birth the evening before of his daughter NVCC were captained on the day by New Zealander Bernie Peacock who marshaled the team well in their first outing of 2021. 

Having lost the toss NVCC was asked to bowl first and Peacock threw the ball to Adersh Maqsood to open the bowling. Maqsood repaid Peacock’s confidence by taking a wicket with his second ball, and another one in his third over. The second of Maqsood’s wickets brought Marin CC Chairman, Nick Lynam, to the crease and Lynam was in no mood for giving up his wicket. He ultimately put on 68 runs off 91 balls playing a calm and steady innings while at the other end Marin CC batsmen came and went in a steady procession. 

The pick of the bowlers for NVCC were Karan Grewal and Andrew Healy. Grewal took 4 wickets for 19 runs off 8 overs including 3 maiden overs while Healy took 3 wickets for 28 runs from the 5 overs that he bowled. Remarkably both of these bowlers were on hat-trick balls with neither able to convert and take that most coveted of accolades for a bowler. Marin CC ended up all out for 145 runs thanks to an excellent fielding performance with NVCC taking lots of their catches with Jake Radloff and Nick Martin, in particular, showing safe pairs of hands. 

With the bat, Maqsood laid a solid foundation for the chase retiring with 50 on the scoreboard to allow others to bat. Sorabh Das also contributed a healthy 43 which included eight fours and ultimately NVCC won the match with seven wickets and 13 overs to spare. 

Bernie Peacock (L) presents Marin CC Chairman Nick Lynam with the 19 Crimes Man of the Match award after their recent match at Piper Park in Larkspur.

Peacock presented the 19 Crimes Man of the Match award to Marin CC’s Lynam for his strong performance with the bat. 

“It was great to play a game of cricket after all of the time we’ve had away from the game due to the pandemic,” said Peacock after the match “and it was even better to win our first game back! Marin are always great hosts and the annual three-match series against them is always one of the highlights on our calendar.”

Over Memorial Day weekend NVCC traveled to Davis to play the Sri Lanka Lions in a 30 over match at Arroyo Park. With NVCC Club Captain Helme winning the toss he chose to field first given the strong bowling lineup at his disposal. His decision paid early dividends with Bernie Peacock taking a wicket in the first over. That was to be all the success that NVCC had early on as the Lion’s top-order put on a strong batting display. Scores of 31, 35, 64 (not out), and 25 set the Lions up for a solid innings. NVCC’s next wicket came from the very last ball of Peacock’s six-over spell. 

Despite some tight spin-bowling from Helme he was unable to take a wicket but he rotated his bowlers regularly and eventually made the breakthrough he was looking for by bowling Grewal and Healy in tandem with each other. After their successful wicket-taking at Piper Park the week before both recorded four-wicket hauls with Grewal again on a hat-trick ball only to miss that and take a wicket with the next ball, for three wickets in four balls. A wicket on his NVCC debut for Jamaican-born Dayne Buddo lifted the NVCC spirits and they ended up wrapping up the Lion’s tail with 189 runs on the board. 

“The fast outfield here at Arroyo Park didn’t help us with our bowling” said Helme at the innings break “as the Lions batsmen took full advantage of any loose, or full, balls that we bowled. That being said I think we stuck to our task well as a bowling unit and Karan and Heals did a great job taking wickets late on to slow their run rate and keep them to under 200 runs.”

NVCC Players Karan Grewal (L) and Andrew Healy pictured with the ball that they each took four wickets with against the Sri Lanka Lions at Arroyo Park in Davis.

NVCC started brightly in the chase with Abhijit “Doc” Adhye and Buddo opening the batting. After a solid 13 off 14 balls Adhye fell to a rash shot which brought Vinay Madavan to the middle. Madavan played a solid and watchful innings amassing 22 runs off 50 balls, with 39 of those dot balls. Buddo eventually fell for a solid 25 runs and despite a storing effort from Grewal with the bat (32 runs off 25 balls) NVCC were always behind the required run rate and were eventually all out for 156 with the Lions winning by 33 runs.

After the match Helme presented the 19 Crimes Man of the Match award to Sri Lanka Lion’s Chamin for his strong performance with the bat. 

Sponsors

The Napa Valley Cricket Club wishes to acknowledge the continued support of the following sponsors;19 Crimes Wine, ASL Print FX, AZMERA Consulting, Bill Wagner Realtor, Balanced Business Group, Caliber Home Loans, Canyon West Dental, Crown Hill Stone Supply, John Fearless, NapaSport Steakhouse, St. Helena Optometry, Stone Brewing Napa, vinoEZ, 3 rock marketing, Blue Jean Black Design, Amale Oak Importers, Napa Gourmet Foods.